Boy Takes School Bus on Late-Night Joy Ride

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BAY COUNTY-- A 12 year old boy who reportedly stole a school bus and took a joy ride is facing some very serious charges Tuesday night.

Bay District School officials say Michael Propst was riding his bike in Parker at 4:00 Tuesday morning. According to officials, Propst saw the 24 seat school bus parked outside a bus driver's home on Maine Street, with the door wide open.

"[He] Climbed on board, saw that the keys were left in the ignition, by mistake and he cranked the bus up and drove it all around bay county," said Mike Jones, Bay District School Security Chief.

Deputies say the 12 year old's joy ride ended right at this Walmart on Front Beach Road, about 15 miles away from where he reportedly stole the bus.

"The bus had traveled from the Parker area all the way through Panama City, across the bridge down Front Beach Road," said Major Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Propst was taken into custody, but kept quiet about what happened. Why he stole the school bus, no one knows, but school officials say a security camera inside the bus shows a cool, calm and collected young man in the driver's seat.

Jones said, "He didn't have an answer for why he did it…he just went for a ride. We watched him on there and he was pretty cool in character, he just cranked it up and drove it; like he had done it all his life."

Right now, the bus is in the shop, after minor damage caused during his late night ride. The Major said, "We did discover some white transfer paint on the bus; indicative that he may have struck something." Jone adds, "Maybe it was a like a speed limit sign or a traffic sign of some sort because the damage in the us is what up on the air, like six feet."

Missing from the bus was a $2,000 piece of equipment. If you have any information call the bay county sheriff's office at 747-4700.

Propst is charged with grand theft over $100,000, felony criminal mischief and grand theft over $1,000.